Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You make the call...

The location.
It's a major University, circa 2009.

Cast of characters.
Dick, a supervisor who works in a department on campus, known to be a pretty decent guy

Joe, an easygoing, hardworking employee who works in a department on campus (not the same as Dick). Joe will do whatever needs to be done to get the job done, but he doesn't put up with any crap.

Mel, the employee who works in a department separate and unrelated to either Dick or Joe.

Other sordid employees who work with Joe

The scene.
Late afternoon.
Dick walks into Joe's department and requests Joe's assistance.

The story.
Joe is happy to help Dick, after all it's his job. Suddenly in the course of helping Dick, Joe receives a phone call while he's helping Dick, the call is from Mel who says that he has an emergency which requires Joe's help. Dick understanding that in the course of his job, emergencies have to come first especially when it has to do with building problems. Joe tells Mel he'll help him ASAP, Joe asks Dick to hold on for a few minutes because emergencies must take priority (as Joe has been taught).

Dick suddenly flies off the handle cursing and screaming at Joe for not helping him NOW, tells Joe that he has to leave work on time and cannot be late. Joe politely tries to explain that it's an emergency and must come first but to be patient and he can help him. Joe tries to maintain composure, but Dick goes on being an asshole. Finally, having had enough of being berated and hollered at, Joe lets Dick have it, using some rather strong curse words and telling him off.

At no time do Joe or Dick threaten each other or physically harm one another.

Joe's fellow employees do nothing to help diffuse the situation. Nobody attempts to bring out Joe's boss who is better equipped to deal with these kind of situations.

After the situation is over, before Joe leaves he informs his supervisor of everything that happened. Joe's supervisor thanks him. Joe leaves for home.

The next day, Dick the supervisor reports Joe's behavior to higher ups. The head of Dick's unit orders an investigation. Personnel is brought into the picture and conducts the investigation themselves. Joe fears he could lose his job even though he is a great employee with high marks. Everyone involved is asked to write up a report of what they witnessed. Joe is angry and wants to file a countercomplaint against Dick but is told it probably wouldn't do any good.

Two weeks after the incident, Joe gets a letter of reprimand signed by his supervisor (who didn't want to but had no choice) but seems to have been written by personnel in his file telling him he was neglectful in his duties by putting the emergency situatio. He is told that kind of behavior would no longer be tolerated at the institution. He is told he needs to cease the cursing, which he himself agrees he needs to do.

To Joe's knowledge, nothing has been done to the supervisor, Dick, who instigated the entire mess in the first place. Joe believes that while he (Joe) was wrong in cursing and getting angry, that he could have handled the conflict better, it never would have happened if supervisor, Dick hadn't flown off the handle and gone after him first. Supervisors are supposed to know better, they are supposed to be trained in how to handle themselves and other employees.

Three weeks after the incident, Joe's cursing at work has ceased and all is back to normal, he's still doing his job and doing it well. He no longer talks about what happened because what's done is done. Still deep down inside he might harbor some resentment that nothing was done about Dick.

What should have happened here?
Should Joe have followed policy and put the emergency first?

Should Joe's coworkers have gone to get their supervisor immediately when the conflict began?

Should Joe have been reprimanded so severely?

Should Dick have been reprimanded as well?

Comments anyone?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Had a dream last night about dad

I was at mom and dad's house as I am in many of my dreams. I think I was living there. Dad was there, talking, alive just as he always was. He wore shorts and a white tee shirt, his usual comfortable outfit at home.

I was wiping the counter with a dishtowel and thinking "when is mom going to have a chance to move on?" and then I looked at pa and asked, "Can I ask a stupid question?" and he said "Sure" and I said, "Are you going to be here indefinitely?" and he said "Well, eventually I have to go back and wake up" and I think he may have added so he could die but I am not sure, I tried to remember the dream all day so I could write it down. Essentially I knew what he meant. Eventually he knew he had to go back into his body, wake up, and die because he couldn't just lay there in limbo forever.

I wonder what it means?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

School starts in two days, woe is me!

Any bets on what time the first undergrad (usually freshman) will wander into my office on Monday and ask me...

"can you tell me where my (insert class here) is?"

It's a time honored tradition that some student will wander into my office and ask me where their class is. I just wanna bitch slap them! Of all the offices on campus, all the classrooms, they have to come to me and ask ME where they're supposed to be.

First off, common sense should have told you that maybe you should have checked your schedule FIRST before heading to class.

Second, WTF do I look like? The hostess? Do I have "Hi I'm Julie, your cruise director" stamped on my forehead? No.

You're in college now, check your schedule and print it out. Tape it to your shirt if you need to, just be responsible! Your mommy is no longer just around the corner to hold your hand. You're an adult, act like it.

Hmm...was that too harsh?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nobody picks on my grandma!

Add another company to my shit (hit) list.

My grandmother is 92 years old. She has always paid her Discover bill on time. A few years ago they jacked up her rate to 21% and she could not figure out why. When she contacted them nobody would help her. They told her that was the best rate they had. We both knew they were full of shit but they refused to lower it. All she wanted was to get the son of a bitches paid off and never have to deal with them again. It seemed that no matter how long she paid she just never paid it up. The Discover currently has a balance of $2,800. Now that doesn't seem a lot to me and you but for a woman whose net income is only $1200 per month in social security, $100 a month for Discover is a lot. Yet she's paid it month after month, for years. Had they not jacked up her rates, she would probably have paid it off already.

Anyway, recently grams got tired of their crap and lack of customer service so in defiance she decided to pay what SHE felt she should pay, which is about $50. She knows that they have made way more than they ever should have off of her so what's the big deal? Actually she had called them asking if she could make arrangements to pay lower payments and they wouldn't work with her. She was pissed off and said "screw it" and began sending them half. Well that's when she began getting nasty letters and phone calls from them.

Last week sometime she received a letter from them, probably telling her she was behind by about $100 because she wasn't making the full payment. Well, she called them and spoke to a young man named Kyle who proceeded to threaten her. He told her that if she didn't pay the bill in full he would call the IRS and report her. He made other vague threats too. Of course he doesn't know who he's dealing with because she might be 92 but she isn't STUPID! She asked him what he expected to gain from it and he said to her, "Well if you won the lottery you would expect to pay taxes on it right?" and I'm thinking "WTF does THAT have to do with the price of tea in China?"

Anyway, she was willing to make an agreement with him to settle on $1500 and call it quits. I mean she has paid down at least $10,000 on that card over the years, they have made a lot of money on her! She said she would borrow the money and send a cashier's check, to which he replied they do not accept cashier's checks. (HUH? ) The only way they would accept the payment is by dipping into her checking account. That dumb punk kept insisting grams give him her checking account info. He kept harassing her and trying to make her think they were going to take her assets and everything else. What a dumbass! She laughed at him and then eventually he transferred her to Nathan who proceeded to do the same thing. Finally she told him off and hung up. And can I just add you've never been told off until you've been told off by a 92-year old Italian woman!

So, my goal is to I'm going to write a nice letter to David Nelms, CEO of Discover Card Services, 2500 Lake Cook Road, River Woods, Illinois 60015, and tell him exactly what I think of his company and his dumbass customer no-service asshats threatening old ladies and demanding their checking account numbers. My grandmother may have been born at night but it wasn't last night. She's too smart for these assholes. In the meantime she's going to go back to the regular payment because she's sick and tired of Discover calling her house and hanging up or calling and harassing her.

Can't wait to see the look on Nelms's face when he reads my letter. You don't f*ck with my grams and get away with it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday of the week prior to the start of fall classes usually has me running around like a madwoman and this term is no exception. It don't procrastinate, it's just that everything hits at once. The grad students come back this week, our departmental orientation is Friday, things have to be ready for them when they get back. The returning students aren't the issue, it's the new ones. They need to know everything a new grad student needs to know and there's a lot of info to pass on to them.

One would think that this being my tenth orientation (I can't believe it's been ten years already!) and with three years experience prior to that planning events at the college level, that I would be a pro at this. I'm meticulous about it, the details are important but not as important as they used to be. I used to be a perfectionist and then I realized that it's ok not to have control of everything. Now, instead of being at the orientation to take care of every little detail, I plan it, it starts, and I retreat to the safety and security of my office. You see, I'm just not a crowd person. For some reason I shy away from crowds, don't ask why, I'm just like that. I'm not generally known as a shy person, ask anyone who knows me, but then again they know me one on one. I've got a friend at work who asks me "why don't you let me take you to lunch" and I tell him that I just don't want to go but I thank him for his offer, but finally he figured out not long ago that I am not good around groups of people. It's not that he observed it, he guessed it. I asked him when he finally figured that one out. A person works with you for 8 years, they get to know you pretty well.

Anyway, I get to work today and start flippin' out, silently of course, because I don't know where to start. There's so much stuff to do. Got two students coming in from Malawi who need to get to know the place, have to appoint them on their fellowship, payroll paperwork has to be done, worried that it's going to take too long and they won't get a paycheck within a reasonable amount of time.

Then there's the curriculum...we've been revising the Agribusiness curriculum till we're blue in the face, meaning we're out of oxygen LOL. Finally we've got it right. But all the agribusiness grad students registered so I had to email each one with a NEW plan of study, go in and adjust what registrations I could...which leaves me to the next thing...UF decided to implement this registration hold on every student at UF. You see despite the fact that they are adults, there are some students at UF who can't seem to find their way out of a wet paper bag unless you hold their hand and because of them, UF finally had to implement this hold in which students have to click "I agree" to several things listed on a "terms of agreement" before they can register each term. The terms of agreement are basic, like I understand I need to register on time, drop courses on time, am responsible for fees, etc. You know, basic crap like that.

My outlook task list at work is growing . I think I can keep it under control but for every task I complete, I wind up adding a few more. I never seem to catch up. I'm also beginning to panic a bit about my own school, which starts next Monday. I'm registered for EUH 3206 20th Century Europe and AMH 4319 History of Crime and Punishment in America. Both are excellent courses taught by great faculty, I am sure I will enjoy them, but I've got to be sure I allot enough time for reading and writing for each class. One has a midterm, final and a paper, in addition to lots of reading. The other I am not sure of yet because I don't have the syllabus but based on the syllabus the professor sent me from last term, I don't think there are any quizzes ,just a midterm, final and paper due. I don't mind the work, I'm used to it, I just have to manage my time better. I've got to balance work, home life, school, and personal time. I don't generally bring work home with me, I try to leave it at work. Home life includes taking care of Vin, the cats, cleaning house, cooking, making the lunches, stuff like that. My personal time is generally sleeping and eating and working out on the elliptical. I feel really good doing 20-30 minutes per day 5 days a week, I really need to keep that up. How will I find time when school starts? Don't they say that you have to make time for yourself before you make time for others?

Speaking of the elliptical, ok I know I have lost, at least in inches, my jeans aren't snug and everything fits just a hair different. Dh has been doing it and he's lost at least 10 pounds so far. Giving up drinking beer on Saturday nights can do wonders (him, not me, I don't drink beer or anything else except egg nog and schnapps once a year!). I've got to keep up the exercise, eating right (I don't seem to be eating the fruit I bring with my lunch!), and give it time, it'll happen. I'm no longer in a hurry, I mean where the hell am I going? I turn 40 in October, I've got lots of school ahead of me, a great paying job and DH has to get through welding school too. We've got time. Besides it would be just my luck I rush through everything I have to do and then BAM! I wind up dropping dead.

Now wouldn't that suck?

Anyway, I've got to organize my mind and my time, I can't devote too much to any one thing. And I have to figure out how to be ok with studying on a Saturday morning if the house hasn't been vacuumed and cleaned yet. I know, sounds silly doesn't it? I cannot study unless I'm clean and my house is clean. So I might spend hours on a Sat morning cleaning and makinge verything nice and then it's noon and I haven't started yet. Which means I need to clean the night before--right? That way, no excuses. Get coffee, get my desk organized, get busy.

As you can see, lots on my mind. Not just that but DH is bugging me to go rafting in the Ichetucknee with him and I'm sorry but hell NO, there are Alligators there. You think I want to be their lunch? DH says I'm a weenie but oh well. Susan is afraid too and she told me she wouldn't go with him either. They say alligators won't bother you but uh---I don't think so. I'm not taking the chance. So now DH is like "who is going to go with me?" thing is he really doesn't have any friends, he's from up north, everybody is up there, not here. And so...if I don't go, who will go with him? I feel bad, but he says "I don't need people" yeah whatever. Without even thinking I uttered these famous words,

"No man is an island"

And afterwards I nearly regretted it as I waited to hear him say, "it's only an island if you look at it from the water" but then I realized he's never seen the movie Jaws so I was ok! (Ok, maybe mom's the only one who gets this!)

Anyway, it's off to bed now. Time for more strange dreams. Thanks for letting me vent.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Six factors in the cost of health care...

I did a little research on the factors behind the rising cost of health care and here’s what I found through a variety of journal articles and other sources online:

Emergency Rooms: generally not allowed to turn anyone away and must be able to bear the burden of cost for those they treat who cannot pay. ER’s used by the uninsured as a primary care facility. Who here has visited an emergency room any time of the day or night and not seen it packed? How many of those cases are truly emergencies? Also, in larger cities where there is more violent crime and a large number of lower income people, hospital ER’s are nearly always overwhelmed.

Physicians: are offered incentives by managed care organizations in an effort to ration health care, deciding who needs what and when. The more care a patient receives, the more the managed care organization pays out. Also, physicians face rising malpractice premiums.

Prescription drugs: it's simply an issue of supply and demand. More demand = higher prices.

Technology: lack of interdisciplinary collaboration, technology changes too rapidly, not cost effective to use certain technologies when they are immediately replaced by others. More funding needs to go into research and development.

Nurse labor shortage: The pay is good but many times it is not enough to keep good nurses who can get a better deal (in pay and/or environment) elsewhere. Salary compression (which is also a problem in higher education)—causes problems. Higher salaries are important to attract new nurses but the salaries are often much higher than that of experienced nurses who have been in the field longer.

Uninsured: individuals who work with companies which do not offer plans, who cannot afford outside coverage and individuals who are employed with companies who have health insurance programs but can’t afford the premiums. The high premiums are often due to the fact that many insurance companies are trying to make up for losses.

Overall greatest cost driver: Consumer demand
Overall best way to cut costs: Prevention

If we can find a way to solve these six problems, we've got the problem b eat. Sure it will be complicated, but it sure as hell is better than that 1,018 page manifesto put out by the Congress.

Thoughts anyone?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Can anyone name a government-run program that works? Really works?

By this I mean one that functions exactly as promised with a real and true benefit to the public overall and which is not a financial burden to the taxpayers?

At least I think that's my criteria for now, let me think on that. There might be more.

Monday, August 10, 2009

For all the dissenters...

I made this up myself, I took a common phrase and added to it. Hope you like it!

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism except when it emanates from anyone other than a Democrat. Then it is known as a fear mongering, right wing angry mob."

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Another rather unusual dream...

Gotta get this dream out while it is fresh in my mind. Of course everyone who knows me well, knows I have very unusual dreams, for absolutely NO reason.

First, we were moving some stuff to Georgia, to my dad's hometown of Kennesaw, Georgia. I am not sure why we were taking this stuff there because nobody was actually moving there.

Dad rented a semi truck and mom, Kim, me, grams, and a few others I can't remember decided to go on the trip. We were taking the semi and another car so we could fit everyone. The semi cab fit about 5 people, the other vehicle about 4 or 5. As I recall I think there was no room in the semi for Kim and me so we got these metal contraptions that hook on the front of the semi's grill and we hook ourselves into them for the trip. Yes, you read that right, we were to hang on the outside of the truck as he drove. Now dad was driving the semi and basically Kim and I were hanging on a metal thing outside the front of the cab. And oh crap, were we scared! The truck didn't drive down the road though, it flew in the air.

Grandpa Cliff aka Papaw, dad's father, was in the dream and his voice was different, it was more clear and not as raspy as it was when he was older.

Fast forward because the dream is getting a little harder to remember. I am coming home from work and there's lots of car accidents all over the place. I am driving home from work and I pull over to the side of the road and I see my car on its side, only its not the car I am driving, it's a 1989 Toyota (the car I had IRL when I was in my early 20's). It is on its side and nex thing I know there's a bus aying on its side there, with nobody in it, the bus didn't hit the car, they were separate accidents. I found both on Hwy 340 which is the rural road on the way to my parents house.

I realized I had to walk or bicycle home. I had this recumbent bike on wheels. I had my sweaters, a pillow, a tiny portable television, my cell phone, a boom box and a few other things I had to carry since I couldn't drive. I got on this bike and began down Highway 340. then I realized it was hard as hell to bike. I called my mom from my cell phone, don't remember where she was, and told her I had to bike home and it would take awhile. She said she would pick me up when she got home. I told her what had happened. You should have seen the traffic on CR 340, it was a mess. There were backups everywhere because of the accidents. Lots of buses too. It seems like it took forever to get along 340. I was tired from biking that little bike down this huge, long and hilly country road. I stopped and walked awhile then biked again. One thing I remember very clearly is that I was angry that nobody stopped to ask me if I needed a ride.

Somewhere down the road there was lots of construction and there were detours and side roads near this subdivision (there are no SD's on the real CR 340) and I wound up off the main road and on some side roads going into the subdivision. of course eventually I realized this because these side roads were not big enough for regular vehicles to drive down them. I knew something had to be wrong. I wound up getting back on the main road but constantly detoured back to these little roads. I was on the road for hours just trying to get home which was only a few miles away. I recall being really close because I wound up bicycling my way into a building and a hallway which was my mom's doctor's office (her Crohn's doctor, not her primary doc LOL) and as I biked through the building I came to a locked door. The doc said people weren't allowed to exit through that door, it was just for official personnel but I explained to her the situation about all the accidents and everything and she let me through. I remember telling her not to driv down CR 340 because it was a mess. And so I continued my journey.

Not long after, I got stuck on one of these detours and wound up way off the main road. I wound up running into these people, they looked human but they wore blue outfits. Two women in blue outfits were torturing a guy wearing regular clothes. I wanted to help him, so I think I beat up those women and cut them up and killed them but then it turns out he was the bad guy and so were they but they were less bad than he was (??). They were not human because they were able to rebuild themselves and come back to full size people again. I can't remember what happened to the guy. Well after this, I had to start running from these people. I was running all through these mazes. These people were after me. I eventually ran into the good guys, one of them was a police officer from GPD who I have known for a long time but haven't seen in a long time. He tried to help me, once he realized who I was. As I recall, the only thing that would repel these aliens was some kind of foam you could spray at them, but it only repelled them for a few minutes, then they were after you again.

The rest of the dream is getting fuzzy as time goes on. It's getting harder to remember. I do remember biking past a park and a girl from high school, Michelle, was there, she had red curly hair (Michelle NEVER had red hair in her life!) and her cheeks were rosy, she was smiling, as I passed her at the park, she talked to me, said hi. I kept on biking. Now this bike---let me describe it to you. It was one of those low bikes, the kind you see where your legs are out in front of you pedaling and your back is up against a straight seat back. It was hard to pedal this thing up a hil lthough, I'd have to stop and get outand carry everything up the hill. I remember holding up traffic too on the narrow detour roads.

I don't remember how the dream ends, because I woke up. I think I was still running, but the good guys were outnumbering the bad guys in blue outfits. Don't know if they ever got them all. One thing, I never did get home, I woke up before hand.

So...what do you think? Before you ask--no, I didn't watch any scary movies last night, didn't read anything, didn't listen to anything on the radio. This is par for the course for me, I cannot epxlain where it came from, but I'd love to know what it means.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

UF turns Big Brother...

In an effort to become healthier and cleaner, UF will ban tobacco on its main campus beginning in July, joining over 100 campuses across the U.S. that have already gone smoke free.

(By the way, the linked article states tickets will not be given out but employees may face consequences from their supervisors which includes getting negative remarks on performance evaluations!)


As of Nov. 1, the use of cigarettes or other tobacco products in any of the Health Science Center, Shands or UF Physicians buildings and parking lots, or in vehicles in these areas, will not be permitted. UF plans to implement the policy on its main campus in July 2010.

“The decision to have tobacco-free campuses systemwide supports our commitment to providing a healthy environment for our patients and to improving health in our communities,” said Tim Goldfarb, chief executive officer of Shands HealthCare. “We not only provide outstanding medical treatment and patient care, but also work hard to promote wellness and disease prevention.”

Nope, I don't like it at all. I don't smoke, never have. But...if I did I'd be pissed off that UF thinks it can tell me that I can't smoke in my own car. Frankly, my health isn't anyone's business but my own. And so long as a person smokes far enough from others where it cannot be smelled or inhaled by others and so long as they don't toss their butts on the ground, I don't give a damn how often or where they smoke!!!

By the way, do you think the alum who travel to UF for Gator football games and make a mess tailgating all over campus are going to not smoke while they're here? Yeah, right!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Oooh pick me pick me!

A new low straight from the White House. I didn't make this one up folks.

In an effort to force the health care reform bill down our throats, and prevent conversation about it, the White House wants you to email them if you hear or read information about it that seems "fishy". On the White House Blog written by Macon Phillips, he states "Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to"

If anyone wants to rat, please rat on me first. Please make my day and send an email to and tell them that I said they and their so-called health reform plan can kiss my ass, that I don't give a shit about their stupid program. And please tell them they can visit my blog ANYTIME to see what other really shitty things I have to say about them. And give them my love will ya? LOL

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Cuss Jar

Ok Vin is trying to work on his anger management and we're both trying to stop cursing so...every time we say a curse word we have to put $1.00 in a jar. Vin says that by the end of the month we won't have any money left to pay bills LOL. Seriously this is a great idea. First, we're exercising on the elliptical, now we're trying to stop cursing, what's next? LOL